Edwards: Louisiana Medicaid expansion at risk with Rispone

Election HQ

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at his election night watch party in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is accusing his Republican opponent Eddie Rispone of intending to kick thousands of people off Medicaid if he wins the runoff election.

Rispone has said he intends to “freeze” enrollment in the Edwards-created Medicaid expansion program until he can eliminate wasteful spending he believes exists in the program.

Edwards says Rispone’s plan would force most expansion enrollees from the government-financed health insurance within two to three years.

About 470,000 people get health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. Because of income fluctuations among the working poor, expansion recipients often rotate in and out of eligibility for the coverage.

Edwards appeared Thursday at a Baton Rouge emergency room to slam Rispone’s proposal. The Deep South’s only Democratic governor faces the Republican businessman in a Nov. 16 runoff.

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